A Chia for the ages


Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass takes up the saga of Chia Obama that has caught up Walgreens in scandal. Kass explains:

In a spasm of politically correct panic, Chicago-area based Walgreens stores pulled the fake terra cotta heads from shelves rather than commit corporate sacrilege.

Some insist the Chia Obama is racist. Others say it’s downright disrespectful to plant seeds on the messianic president’s iconic dome.

“People could interpret it through a political viewpoint or other viewpoints, and we want to avoid that situation,” a Walgreens spokeswoman said via e-mail. “Hope this helps clear up our decision. If you have any more questions, please let me know!”

In need of a source of humor in the Age of Obama, I find that discouraging. The New York Daily News holds out, well, hope:

Chia Obama’s maker says he won’t cut and run, and he is in negotiations with drugstore chains in the New York market to bring Chia Obama here in the coming weeks.

“As quickly as they can take them, we will send them,” said Joseph Pedott, 76, founder of the as-seen-on-TV Chia Pets empire.

In the meantime, Pedott added, Chia Obama is for sale online – in “Happy” or “Determined” poses – for the amazingly low price of just $19.99 (three seed packs included!).

It’s already a top seller and “could be the biggest I have ever had,” Pedott said.

The Chia Obama inspires Kass’s creativity. Kass has conjured up a whole line of political Chias to accompany Chia Obama. He counsels Chia executives to “fight back with a complete line of political Chia Pets and sell them at Wal-Mart.” Kass gets specific:

Obama’s head will come in a Democratic boxed set, with that of the boss of the Chicago machine, Mayor Richard Daley, who also has two heads: A “Benign” Chia Daley and “Chia-Chucky,” wild hair sprouting in angry green wings from beet-red temples.

Don’t forget Chia Rahm. All three may be placed so that their “hair” grows together, in a vast political topiary, the clinging vines pulling the heads closer, so their foreheads constantly touch, as in real life.

Kass has a few other ideas, including “the head of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi–the terra cotta version much more flexible and lifelike than her actual face[.]”


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